Apes on Facebook: How hormones evolved and made us straight up crazy
Today I am thinking about the evolution from apes to humans.
What? Aren't you?
Specifically, how dopamine, cortisol, serotonin, and oxytocin all contribute to happiness. My various levels are all screwed up due to my immune issues and the manic craziness of bipolar 2. In order to understand that, I've learned how apes used frustration to evolve and then passed that evolution onto you and me. Or is it me or you? I only studied apes today, not grammar.
Some of us evolved more
I'm looking at you, guy who backs his big ass truck into a compact space.
Some of us don't believe in evolution at all and to that I say, you should not probably not continue this post because we probably aren't gonna get along.
Not to get all smart on ya here, but did you know you can draw a direct comparison from apes behavior, needs, wants and pack mentality, to how we act on Facebook, Insta, Twitter, Snapchat, and of course in something we humans used to refer to as real life situations? That's just science.
I'm basically a doctor you guys.
This is gonna sound like some heavy duty thinking coming from me, a girl who stops work in the middle of the day to catch up on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, (I can't stand Dorit either btw) but check it:
Through the process of evolution apes developed a little somethin' called frustration. I know it well. I'm sure you do too.
Let's say there was a cute little lady ape called Jane. She was named after Tarzan's go-to-gal. In my mind Jane probably drives a cute little red mini-cooper, a convertible because, you know, she's an ape.
She's just hanging in a tree, feels a little peckish and spots a delish mango up on a higher branch. She climbs, and thinks "God that looks good and I've been so good on my Weight Watchers points, I deserve it dammit."
Side note: Mangoes are now zero points on Weight Watchers. How awesome is that?
A feeling comes over her called dopamine. A reward triggers the release of dopamine. That's why when you set a goal, you feel good about yourself, even if you don't fulfill that goal. Just the feeling and energy around setting a goal will trigger dopamine.
It feels great to see something and go after that sh*t, like a lady going for those size 7 1/2 boots at the half yearly Nordstrom's sale. She can feel her energy, it feels so good to work towards something.
She's just about to grab it when a frickin' huge ass male ape, obviously bigger and stronger, who probably drives a Ford F150 Rapter jacked up on wheels, swipes it from her hands. WTF?
He then casually eats it while staring vacantly into her eyes and says,
"What? Wanna have sex?"
So Jane boils with frustration, so natch she heads to the gym, a place she feels her best. I mean, she's basically the skinniest ape there and it's a place where she is high up on the ape totem pole, unlike on Facebook, I mean the jungle, where she just watches everyone having a better life. At the gym Jane gossips with her girlfriends, does a Zumba class, takes a steam, all which creates serotonin leaving her cool, calm and collected and feeling all ape-okay. "Alright now, I'm chill. I'm not even thinking about that mango. Or that ape."
Except she still is.
She totally deserved that mango. It was wrong for that flippin' ape of a man to just swipe it out from under her without even doing any work.
Wait are we still talking about monkeys? Yep. Stay with me.
This chick turns that frustration into #GOALS
And feeling a little bit #timesup, she uses this frustration to overcome an obstacle.
She patiently waits til' that ass ape is pooping. He's behind that tree for way too long, of course, because you know he's probably swiping right.
She silently climbs that tree and picks that juicy mango. Def worth the weight watchers points.
And then as mango drool is dripping down her cheeks, I mean we've all been there ladies, right?, she has another thought.
"I should just sleep with him. I mean I haven't been with any apes in a while, and I could just totally get mangos anytime I want and maybe even a house in Malibu with a custom garage, I've always wanted a custom garage."
We'd all love a custom garage. Are we still talking about apes?
No. I'm talking about me. I'd love a custom garage.
Being close to another person, I mean ape, gives off something called oxytocin and oxytocin feels wicked good.
Jane decides that even though he drives that F150 Rapter, which is, yes okay screaming "I have a big ape penis!", it's worth it. So they do it, monkey style obviously, and jesus it feels good. She's got oxytocin coming out of every little ape pore.
He falls asleep after.
But wait. 2 1/2 days later, on the way home from the gym she sees him with another chick. A monkey. This cute little ass monkey is a double zero, and yes has extensions which look kind of trashy, but she's totally toned, having obviously swung from a ton of trees and she's got red hair instead of black.
It's probably highlights but still.
Jane confronts him. And this ass of a male ape says, "This is River North. We've fallen in love and we're off to Brazil for a month to study yoga in the rainforest".
And she says "But you don't even like yoga"? And he says "River North is teaching me."
Wtf, is River North a name Kimye came up with?
Then he says "So I like won't have access to Facebook so if you need to reach me you basically can't." And they bound off as the red haired gorgeous River North smiles and looks over her frankly too broad shoulders says, "soooorrrrrry byeeeeeeeeeeee." And they swing off to Brazil carrying a bunch of mangos and bananas from Whole Foods. Organic obviously.
And she's like-"Why the f*ck can't I go to Brazil? I need to study yoga in the rainforest. I mean I've never done a yoga class but that sh*t don't matter. I would be so much better and I need to change my name, I hate Jane." And then a flood of energy, pulsating courses through her.
The C word...
Wait, what were you thinking?
Cortisol floods into her stomach, through her body and she pulses with rage. I'm mean she's gone ape shit.
See what I did there?
She thinks, "I should have never gone after that god damn mango in the first place." And after a night out by the river with her g-friends drinking wine and eating too many bananas her friends say with proper monkey vocal fry "Jane, we all knew he wasn't good for you."
So she downs one and a half bottles of wine and calms down and she remembers how she got that mango in the first place.
By using frustration to create a new goal.
We all know that frustration is a sign of intelligence. Oh wait, you didn't know that?
I looked it up on the internet so who's the ape now?
It allows ape, and if you haven't caught on by now, humans, to come up with alternative ways of thinking. Alternative ways of thinking will often help us get out of a jam and make us feel better.
She has a new thought. Something she's never considered before because she's always been into the "bad ape".
"Maybe I should go to the monkey college library and get myself a smarter ape who okay, drives a sensible Honda Accord, but he's got plenty of mangos to share, and maybe I'll get that custom garage." Sure maybe we won't have, like, rage sex all the time but I don't mind a once or twice a week sort of sitch- I mean I've got my ape vibrator.
Too much of a visual? Sorry.
And so she does just that. And you know what? Jane is happy. I mean life isn't perfect, but she reminds herself that she's created a new life for herself, one in which her serotonin is level throughout the day and her cortisol only spikes when her new ape of a husband leaves banana peels all over the house.
If we're gonna get technical here over time she's created new neural pathway, a sort of reprogramming of the brain in which worked on over time can change our habits. It's like taking a new kind of freeway instead of the old freeway you've been taking for years.
I looked that up on the internet too.
If we can stop using old pathways and create new neurological pathways we can reduce the cortisol that stresses our bodies and maintain a steady level of serotonin, leaving us feeling content. We can then live life with less drama, scratching ourselves eating mangos and bananas and sure maybe too much wine on the weekend so we can have good sex with our ape who drives the Honda Accord.
Enough monkeying around. I'll see ya later.
Sources and inspiration for this post
James Altucher and Loretta Breuning "The Science of Happiness"- listen to the podcast!